Long time no blogging, I’m in the middle of a move to my new place. That does mean that I’ll loose my pagerank again when my blog is going to be moved to a new host soon… And may be unavailable for a few days!
Most companies try to enforce their methodologies and their toolkits upon all of their developers. Most of the time, they just don’t realize that they have these two kinds.
The alpha developer hates changing what he’s learnt. Not because he doesn’t want to learn something new, but mostly because he’s become an expert on the technology he’s working with and doesn’t want to give up that leadership. A geek is only recognized by his excellence, and in that case, a toolkit or a programming style.
Should the toolkit developers in the company just stop enforcing their toolkits? Nope. First, toolkits are good. They enforce an architecture that is corporate wide. Second, they reduce coding costs. Third, they can provide toolkits across languages. But these tenets only applies to the Line developer. The alpha developer doesn’t want his work easier. He likes to make his work easier by using his own toolkits. He will only resort to use his company’s toolkits if there’s an advantage to the one he’s using himself. What to do then?
To be honest, companies like these should not employ alpha developers, except as toolkit writers. Alphas are unmanageable, afraid of change, very sure of what they know (and more often than not with good reasons) and only find their job attractive because they are known for their technical expertise. Using their pride to move them in the right direction, from a management point of view, is the only alternative. A good manager should be able to put his own pride aside to push his developers forward, or he’s just not meant to be a manager.
One last suggestion to the companies out there. Don’t make mistakes when you assign roles to people. Knowing how to code in .net is not enough to write a .net toolkit. Heard a while ago from a guy writing .net toolkits for a company:
“Why would you want to use any of Microsoft crap on the server?” while typing a unix command line in what I recognized as being the cygwin shell…
Seriously. There’s a problem there. Or maybe I’m a bit extreme. Or just plainly tired of argument-less OS wars and of some people trying to compensate : “My OS is bigger than yours” (to be sing on the music of the success “My milkshake is better than yours”.
Heard somewhere else from what I recall being a PERL developer:
”As if you could write any scalable solution on a windows server…”
Well, ask Clemens, am sure he would have lots to say about writing hugely scalable solutions on Microsoft platforms. Oh well…
Am in a ranting mood today.